Today basal cell carcinoma is considered a relatively benign form of skin cancer - doctors can easily remove the lesions. But in the 1800s, the cancer often went unchecked until it produced horrific injuries, like the one captured by a photographer in London in 1864. The condition was known as "rodent cancer" - and no wonder. Patients looked as if their skin had been gnawed by hungry rats.
This patient actually fared reasonably well after surgery, ultimately succumbing not to the cancer but to a fatty heart - caused, apparently, by the poor diet he had been forced to eat as a result of the loss of most of his mouth.